A Nintendo data breach was confirmed by the company this week as hackers managed to break into as many as 160,000 accounts. Many have taken to gaming as a source of comfort and escape during this global quarantine we’re all living in. The Nintendo Switch had even reached a point of shortage; the popular device was completely out of stock last month and the company is still struggling to meet high-volume consumer demands. Animal Crossing: New Horizons had also dropped a highly-anticipated game in the nick of time and, due to the current situation, attracted masses of gamers and non-gamers alike.
Nintendo addresses the breaches
Earlier today, Nintendo addressed and confirmed these ongoing hacking attempts, as numerous “unauthorized login” attempts to their “Nintendo Network ID,” via their support page, and their plan of action to prevent future breaches. Nintendo wrote in its statement:
“[This was] a phenomenon that seems to have been made by impersonating login to ‘Nintendo Network ID from around the beginning of April.”
Because of this, Nintendo intends to remove the ability to login to Nintendo accounts via the Network ID. Additionally, Nintendo will be resetting passwords for NNID’s and for those whose accounts may have been compromised.
Information accessed in breached accounts
It’s believed that information such as nicknames, date of birth, location (country/region) and email addresses may have been accessed by a third party. Nintendo warns that if users use the same password for their NNID as their Nintendo account to be wary of fraudulent purchases; credit card / PayPal information can be linked in these accounts, allowing hackers to manage users’ balances via illegal purchases to the Nintendo Store or eShop.
While in the midst of investigation earlier this week, reports suggest that hackers had been using breached accounts to purchase items like Fortnite VBucks—up to $120 worth. Nintendo is urging users who’ve been breached to reach out to the companies where fraudulent purchases have been made to investigate and cancel these fraudulent purchases.
I’ve been hacked, what do I do?
Those who have been impacted by these ongoing hacking attempts will be notified by email. Nintendo asks that users set up a two-step verification for their accounts to ensure that they’re safe from hackers and third parties gaining access to accounts.
While two-step verification is an optional feature for most online accounts, it’s a paramount step in ensuring your devices, accounts and information are safe from being breached and accessed by potential hackers.